America’s growing wealth gap, the great divide between the rich and poor, is a reflection of how America’s haves and have-nots were raised by their parents.
How do I know? I spent five years interviewing 177 self-made millionaires and 128 poor people and documented what I learned in something I call my Rich Habits Study.
What I learned from my five-year study was that habits are contagious. Almost all of these self-made millionaires picked up specific habits from their parents that gave them a leg up and enabled them to accumulate millions of dollars.
Nicolas Christakis, a Yale University professor and leading researcher on socially contagious behaviors, supports my findings in his own research. He also found that habits are contagious; passed from parents to children, good or bad.
Here are some of the discoveries he made in his own studies regarding habits:
- Habits spread like a virus through your social networks.
- Parents pass good and bad habits down to their children.
- If your family is obese, your risk of obesity increases by 25%.
- If your family smokes cigarettes, you are more likely to smoke.
- If your family exercises, you are more likely to exercise.
- If your family does not value education, you will not, either.
- If your family has a negative outlook, you are more likely to be negative.
- The habits you learn from your parents shape the life you lead.